To Move or Not To Move?

Start of another year, right? What’s it going to be? To move or not to move? That is the question.

Whether tis nobler in your own real estate of mind to wallow in the outrageous misfortune of the huge pendulum that’s been swinging back in retrograde. The one that’s been whopping us steadily upside the head since the eclipse of the bubble first began. Or whether it’s finally time to armor yourself against the sea of troubles out there. Do more than just tread water for the next twelve months. Start to swim in the current of current events rather than sinking further into the false comfort of going nowhere and doing nothing.

So many of you have spent the last few years polishing your worry stones into jewels of denial. Gazing into the void of avoidance with cloudy eyes.

I can sense the stirring. Hear the murmurs. Feel a rise in the pulse. I see more of you wanting to at least start to begin to consider to think about the possibly of taking that very small first step of walking yourselves through the motions. We’ll call that progress for now. Pre-qual letters. CMA’s. Logging on to MLS search engines. Doing virtual drive-bys.

Yes, there are signs. Rumblings. A definite desire to get over the hump. To stop navigating forward by looking in the rearview mirror. To stop ducking and covering every time a scary thought goes off and mushrooms inside our heads.

Are there enough people out there ready to take themselves off hold? Get out of the automated voice mail system from hell that keeps delivering a steady stream of robo-messages to the collective psyche?

No way around it folks. All kinds of pre-programmed tape loops are going to be pressing your buttons this year. Flirting with you or torturing those of you who have been alienated from the real estate process for awhile and are now trying to dial it back in and phone home.

Headlines will be yapping at you. Pundits will be yapping at you. The Feds, Case-Shiller, Bloomberg and the NAR will all be yapping at you. Friends, relatives and co-workers will be yapping at you. Heck, I’m going to be yapping at you.

Yapping is what we do these days. It’s the national pastime we use to pass the time while waiting for something else outside of ourselves to come along and make up our minds for us.

But here’s the thingŠin the end, no matter how hard you try, you aren’t going to be able to divine the square root of all those pie holes yapping at you. It ain’t possible. Too many irrational numbers in the equation. They are no simple solutions based on our fractional thinking.

I know what my own New Year’s Resolution is going to be. My resolution is to implore all of you to be resolute. That’s right. Whatever you decide, make a pact with yourself to really decide. The only way to solve your on-the-fence dilemma in the coming year, is to summon resolve. Because it isn’t going to be a cake-walk in 2011. The specters of job creation, continuing credit crunch and growing distress/foreclosure inventories aren’t going to go away anytime soon.

Perhaps we’ll have both a jobless and a real estate-less recovery.

It doesn’t matter whether it is a good market, a bad market, or a Goldilocks market where the porridge is not too warm and not too cold and seemingly just right. The market is always in transition, going one direction or another. And people selling houses or buying houses are always in the middle of their own life transitions. Transitions happening within transitions ad infinitum. The contingencies are endless and none of us can ever figure out all the moving parts.

At some point you just have to take the leap of faith. Just like you did when you got married. Or had a child. Or took that new job. Or bought the last house you still live in. None of you knew exactly how those situations were going to turn out. It’s life. It’s organic. It’s all constantly evolving. It’s more than the sum of the parts. You can try and reduce it all down to a rational, scientific formula that tracks the interaction of all the atoms and predicts what will happen. But in the end, the future is never going to be scripted by any observation of the past. You, each of us, can only act with certainty in the moment. Make that your Real Estate Resolution.


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